Maria Montessori recognized the importance of the natural world in education. Today it continues to be a major sensorial and practical life focus in Montessori primary program activities. Because we live in a changing world it is important to remember that there are countless outdoor activities that you can do with preschoolers at home.
Nearly all Montessori preschool kids like to play in a pile of leaves, and there is a lot of opportunity for fun and learning. Simply gathering and comparing leaves is a multi-faceted activity that imparts real-life information while learning to think critically and honing fine motor skills. Comparing images to real leaves is great for learning to identify, write, and pronounce words. You can even compare insects and the types of plants they are attracted to.
From flowers to watermelons, the options for summer gardening projects are immense. Preschool kids get a kick out of taking on the responsibility of tending to plants, watering them, and taking part in making them grow. With a little assistance from a parent or sibling, an intensely scientific project will transform into delicious fruits and healthy snacks, with the aroma of different types of flowers for extra effect.
Playing With Elements
From flying kites and lobbing bread-bag parachutes into the air to sliding around on a soapy wet tarp, getting outside and in touch with the elements of nature is both educational and a lot more fun than being cooped up the house. There are hundreds of experiments related to water, earth, wind, and fire online, and it is okay if you are learning something new with your children. A common experience is good for children in many ways, including building self-esteem as a contributing player in your activities.
The Montessori Method is designed around access to the physical world, and it works the same at home as it does in class. From homemade sundials to introductory biology, botany, and entomology, your back yard or local parks contain the ingredients for healthy physical activity and play-based learning. Observe your kids and take note of the things they take a natural interest in. Those are how you open the gates to a lifetime of curiosity and exploration.